Books and writers

Information about the latest books and the people behind them

Reader impression: Eb Koybie by Ebrahim Essa

Sanabelle Ebrahim Books and writers 2020-04-28

"Eb Koybie has all the elements of a riveting read: daredevil adventure, childhood reminiscences, mystery and mayhem."

Living while feminist – an interview

Cliffordene Norton, Jen Thorpe Books and writers 2020-04-28

"I think that there is always more room to explore a feminist life, and so I wanted to do that. In particular, I was interested in why so few pieces in Feminism is touched on the body and on what it meant to live in the world physically as a feminist, so I hoped to get more of those in this collection."

An open letter regarding the buying, selling and reading of books as an essential service

LitNet Books and writers 2020-04-28

We do not ask that bookshops be open physically for business just yet. Rather, we ask for a simple addition to the current Level 4 regulations: that all books be available for purchase online or over the phone and for delivery, and that all booksellers, big and small, be allowed to trade.

In a time of plague: Memories of the “Spanish” flu epidemic of 1918 in South Africa by Howard Phillips – a review

Elsabé Brink Books and writers 2020-04-24

"Phillips pointed out that in South Africa, the 1918 pandemic highlighted socio-political issues which demanded attention."

Inter-review with Lauri Kubuitsile about her book, But deliver us from evil

Janet van Eeden, Lauri Kubuitsile Books and writers 2020-04-24

"This novel is full of the spirit of adventure and the desire for justice, which make for great storytelling."

Fresh off the press: All that is left by Kirsten Miller

LitNet Books and writers 2020-04-22

When Rachel’s brother disappears under mysterious circumstances, she must come to terms with his apparent death, though there is no body. She travels to Joburg to support her sister-in-law, Maya, with the memorial – also to escape her stifling life as a wife and mother.

Press release: 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize Shortlist announced

LitNet Books and writers 2020-04-22

Twenty outstanding stories have been shortlisted by an international judging panel for the world’s most global literature prize. The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded annually for the best piece of unpublished short fiction from any of the Commonwealth’s 54 member states. 

Review: Dream of a lifetime: Crossing Antarctica by Mike Horn

Clifford Roberts Books and writers 2020-04-22

"The pages fly by. The journey over the ice is as ferocious as the pace its reading makes."

Review: JM Coetzee: Photographs from boyhood by Hermann Wittenberg (ed)

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2020-04-22

"It is a beautifully produced book that will surprise and enlighten even the most devoted Coetzee readers, but might also be an intriguing entry point for those yet unfamiliar with the Nobel Prize winner's work."

The world’s largest online literary festival

Darryl David Books and writers 2020-04-16

"The coronavirus has turned the world on its head. Every day, I hear echoes of Morgan Freeman’s voice from the movie Deep impact in my head. The coronavirus is indeed a deep impact moment. As an evangelist of the literary arts, I have agonised over what this moment means for us."

"Start with the determined decision to fight for your business"

Naomi Meyer, Douglas Kruger, Cliffordene Norton Books and writers 2020-04-16

"Start with the determined decision to fight for your business. No matter how small or trivial it may seem, it is an important block in the foundation of our civilisation. It’s your baby, your dream – don’t let it go without a fight." Naomi Meyer and Cliffordene Norton interview Douglas Kruger about his latest book.

Review: Future-proof your child for the 2020s and beyond by Nikki Bush and Graeme Codrington

Louise Viljoen (JBay) Books and writers 2020-04-15

"I consider it an invaluable guide to equip children with the right skill sets, attitudes and world views to enable them to identify future opportunities and thrive, no matter what tomorrow may or may not hold."

Fresh off the press: Olga Kirsch – A life in poetry by Egonne Roth

LitNet Books and writers 2020-04-15

This biography does not only investigate Kirsch’s role as Afrikaans Jewish poet but also examines her as an example of a cross-cultural, multi-lingual immigrant poet. 

Fresh off the press: A childhood made up by Brent Meersman

LitNet Books and writers 2020-04-08

Brent Meersman’s memoir of a humble yet eccentric upbringing in a Milnerton, Cape Town, flat in the 1970’s and 1980’s reads as a stirring eulogy to his schizophrenic mother, yet also as a vivid snapshot in time.

Lockdown: The corona chronicles – an interview with Melinda Ferguson

Naomi Meyer, Melinda Ferguson Books and writers 2020-04-08

"No. I don’t think we are ever going to go back to the 'unconscious normal' we were in just a few weeks ago. I think that after lockdown, the world and South Africa will, in many ways, be in pieces; in many ways, the systems we knew will be broken, and we will all have to readjust and start again."

Review: Field guide to butterflies of South Africa (2nd edition) by Steve Woodhall

Louise Viljoen (JBay) Books and writers 2020-04-08

"This precious guide is said to make a thoughtful and wonderful gift to professional entomologists, gardeners and nature enthusiasts alike."

Review: Financial freedom through property by Laurens Boel

Louise Viljoen (JBay) Books and writers 2020-04-07

"To my delight, I found Boel a patient and eloquent coach, and his writing clear, to the point and interlaced with examples I could understand and relate to."

Review: The enforcers – Inside Cape Town’s deadly nightclub battles by Caryn Dolley

Clifford Roberts Books and writers 2020-04-06

"There is an art in finding and lifting the real story from the day-to-day facts. Dolley may not quite be there yet, but she's certainly on her way."

South African writing in transition, edited by Rita Barnard and Andrew van der Vlies: a review

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2020-04-02

"The individual contributions focus on a fascinating and relevant selection of primary sources, mostly novels and short stories, reaching as far back as Sol Plaatje’s Mhudi (1930) and incorporating contemporary texts into the diverse readings of the South African literary canon."

A reading list for children at home: Penguin Random House South Africa’s choice

LitNet Books and writers 2020-03-25

Are your children stuck at home and do they have too much screen time? LitNet asked a few publishers for suggestions on what young children can read during this time. Here are the books that Penguin Random House suggested. The kids will enjoy reading and also realise that it's a privilege to have a home in which they can be trapped during this strange period.